13 March 2017
As the City Council publishes its reports regarding the management of the River Cam, following a flawed and coercive consultation, Green Party councillor Oscar Gillespie has said he is glad to see the strong response from the local community.
Many of the council’s proposals have faced a fierce rebuttal, with local events discussing the issue and Camboaters, which represents houseboat residents, publishing an in-depth review of the history, character and dynamics of the River Cam, in response.
Proposals consulted on by the City Council included a potential doubling of houseboat resident’s fees, a move which could have resulted in many being forced to leave the area.
Along with a host of other changes, plans to clear the Riverside section of Abbey of houseboats entirely, attracted a fierce response, with 74% of replies opposing the idea.
The Cambridge Green Party were the only local party to officially respond to the publication, calling for the plans to double houseboat fees to be scrapped, and asking for further consideration to be given to options which would enable moorings to remain at Riverside.
Local activists worked closely with the boating community to respond to the proposals, with volunteers delivering materials to thousands of households urging them to respond to the consultation.
Speaking after the publication of the council reports, Oscar, (pictured, right) said;
There is evidence in the report that Labour have listened to the boating community and local residents. But only because they have been forced to by the overwhelming response.
I hope to see Labour use consultations to engage with people in future, instead of trying to coerce people into supporting regressive and antisocial policies.
Cllr Robertson cannot point the finger elsewhere for emotional distress that the boaters have suffered, this process has been a total mess and apologies are due to all the boaters.
Local resident and Green candidate for the county council, Jeremy Caddick, added;
It's very encouraging that the City Council have listened to the voices of residents and dropped the massively unpopular plans to double fees and clear the moorings at Riverside.
We'll now continue to work closely with houseboaters and local residents to scrutinise the plans and see where we’ll go from here.
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